What: Ridge to Reef is an initiative by Conservation International and partners to sustainably manage an entire environment, from mountains to the ocean, considering the needs of people and nature along the way.
Small Steps: The tropical island of Bali is threatened by deforestation, dwindling fresh water and discarded plastic. Their Bali Ridge to Reef initiative integrates the Balinese beliefs “Nyegara Gunung” (the belief that the mountain and sea is united) and Tri Hita Karana (God, people and nature in harmony creates a happy life) to further connect people to nature and encourage support for its protection. Since the project launched, one community in East Bali has helped save a 676 Ha of village forest through reforestation and sustainable management.
A Liquid Future – surfing conservation
What: An NGO based in the surfing haven of Morotai, Indonesia empowering youth and women in sustainable surf tourism and conservation.
Small Steps: Morotai has been recognised by many as the new ‘Bali’, due to its pristine white sand beaches with intermediate surf breaks, and unique culture, which includes surfing. Concerns around rapid tourism causing issues for the island weigh heavy the communities. Indonesian NGO A Liquid Future is making sure the local children have the skills that they need to be part of the island’s sustainable future. It is empowering kids – and particularly girls (who traditionally weren’t encouraged to swim) - with the skills that they need to embrace surf tourism. From lifesaving skills to surf lessons, to tech and entrepreneurship.
Big Picture: Tourism can benefit small communities, but if done incorrectly it can also take a toll on their way of life and the nature they depend on due to habitat destruction, poorly planned development and pollution.
What: Mangroves are one of the most carbon rich ecosystems on Earth. They protect coastlines from storm surge, provide food for communities, and remove vast amounts of carbon dioxide from the air.
Small steps: They have created Asia-Pacific’s first mangrove blue carbon pilot, which encourages people to buy carbon offsetting credits. The money that people pay for these credits goes back into protecting the mangroves.
Big picture: Mangroves are undervalued and one of the fastest destroyed ecosystems on our planet. Conservation International’s Blue Carbon work is focused on creating pilots to demonstrate this value and generate needed impact investment regionally and globally.
What: The Green Wall programme in the Mount Gede Pangrango National Park conserves and restores forests so that rainwater can be captured and channeled into the rivers downstream. This fresh water is then distributed to the 10 million people living in Jakarta.
Small steps: Five hundred people in Ginanjar Village of West Java had access to fresh water for the first time in November on this year, having previously laboured to collect it from far away sources.
Big picture: The Green Wall programme works hard to protect the forest through replanting and education. Over the past decade they have planted 135,000 trees to help to restore 300 hectares of forest and they have helped combat illegal logging through education and campaigning.